The Five Stages of Small Business: Which Phase Are You In and How to Evolve?

The Five Stages of Small Business: Which Phase Are You In and How to Evolve?

It’s fair to say that running a business is not easy every day! Whether you are at the early stage or further along in the life cycle of your venture, you are confronted with never-ending challenges. An estimated 90% of startup businesses fail. But let’s be clear about it: bad luck or market conditions are not the culprit. Nope. It was the entrepreneurs who failed to prepare and anticipate the trials they will be faced with. Understanding your position in the life cycle of your business and the systemic obstacles associated with that specific stage of growth might just help you stay ahead of the game and defy the odds.   Stage 1: Birth You had an idea, thoroughly validated it, researched your market and took the leap. It is perhaps the riskiest stage of a business where any mistakes will have consequences for years to come. At this stage the main problem is to stay alive. Can you get enough customers? Can you execute well enough to become a viable business? Do you have enough money to finance the operation? The organization is simple: the owner is the business and performs all the important tasks, supplying energy, direction and capital. The key is agility: tweak your offering based on customers’ feedback. Don’t be afraid to change it. Focusing on the goal i.e. customer acceptance will power you through the confusion that iterations can create. A mentor can help you navigate through that noise.   Stage 2: Survival You have done a great job demonstrating that you have a workable business model, having enough customers and satisfying them sufficiently with your...